The Conservancy Briggs Nature Center

Description:
This is the interpretive facility for the 9,200-acre Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. It provides a half-mile self-guided boardwalk through oak scrub, pine flatwoods, mangrove forest, and marsh communities to an observation deck for viewing wildlife, as well as two other nature trails. The center offers three different pontoon boat tours from April through December, focusing on mangrove ecology, birding, and beachcombing. Reservations are required.

Watchable wildlife:
Raccoons, gopher tortoises, several species of woodpeckers and songbirds can be seen from the boardwalk, typically early or late in the day. The observation platform allows you to view ospreys and a variety of wading birds and shore birds. Scrub jays hang out near the center's bird feeders. A new butterfly garden attracts a number of native butterflies. On the naturalist-led boat tours, ospreys, bald eagles, gulls, brown pelicans, bottle-nosed dolphins, and an occasional manatee may be seen.

Ownership:
The Conservancy, Inc.

Contact:
(941) 775-8569

Directions
Take U.S. Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) south of Naples to Florida Highway 951.  Take a right on 951, heading toward Marco Island.  Travel 2.7 miles to Shell Island Road, turn right.  Entrance is 1 mile ahead on right.

Related Sites:
Other Southwest Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks



FWC Facts:
A 2011 survey showed that 49 percent of residents and 47 percent of tourists participate in wildlife-viewing trips in Florida.

Learn More at AskFWC